A Birthday Bag!

Hi Everyone,

I can finally show you what I’ve been up to lately. It was my sister’s birthday recently and she had mentioned ages ago that she was looking for a new knitting bag. So I just had to make one and hope that she didn’t buy one in the meantime. I did consider giving her one of these three bags that I’d made earlier but decided that she had already seen them and that a knitting bag should be bigger than these.

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Then the scraps of a Bali Pops jelly roll were calling to me. My sister had actually bought the Bali Pops for me (for my birthday) and I’d already made a quilt top from them. There was still plenty left and I had some lovely matching solid fabrics to go with them. Maybe, she wouldn’t like the idea of me using a present from her to make something to give back…hmm. I decided I was only using the scraps and that way she would be getting fabrics that I knew she would love otherwise she would never have bought them for me in the first place Smile. I searched the internet for a bag pattern that was just right. However, I wasted a lot of time. I just couldn’t find anything the right size with all of the pockets that I wanted etc. After several days of thinking, sketching, measuring and head scratching I came up with this.

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There are three pockets behind the batik fabrics panel on each of the front and back. The middle pockets are the perfect size for knitting patterns or books. The base is flat and large enough for the knitting to lie down, even if it is on large chunky needles and there’s plenty of room inside for all of the yarn for a whole project.

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I used straight line quilting so as not to compete with the gorgeous fabrics. The quilting continues on the wrap-around base.

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There are two lined patch pockets inside. One is big enough to take large scissors and the other is for buttons etc.

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Plus I added a loop at each side to thread the yarn through.

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Once I’d decided how I wanted the bag to look and how to put it together, the sewing part was easy. The bulk of the work was in the design process. I’ll definitely make more bags like this one.

My sister really liked it which was good news too. That makes me very happy Smile.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Avis x

Another year over…

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve been in the quilting zone. I’ve been concentrating on lots of hand stitching over at Sewing Beside the Sea. I’m sure the quilting bug will find me again when my sewing room warms up a bit. At the moment it is far too cosy in the living room sitting with my feet up, doing a bit of blackwork, cross stitch, knitting and crochet….not all at the same time of course!

I was just updating the “Finished 2013” page above and I can’t believe how many things I managed to complete, especially as it has been such a busy year for me apart from sewing. I’ve enjoyed every single project as well as reading all of the lovely comments and emails from people along the way. Your blogs have been very inspirational too, so I have many ideas stored up for future projects in 2014.

Here is a little gallery of my finished projects this year. Please note that from May onwards, I only included patchwork and quilting projects on this blog. So, if you’d like to see the hand sewn projects from then on, just hop over to Sewing Beside the Sea. If you’d like to visit any of the posts relating to the pictures in the gallery, just go to the “Finished 2013” page above and then click on the photo.

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you have lots of exciting projects lined up for 2014 🙂 Now….where did those chocolates go?

Avis x

I’ve caught the pinwheel bug again!

Good evening everyone 🙂 I hope you are all well!

I’ve got a couple of projects to share with you today.

The first is a whole bunch of pinwheels, twenty four to be precise 🙂 I started to play around with a few scraps yesterday afternoon and made five pinwheels with different prints. Then, this morning, I was drawn back to my rotary cutter and the Mean Green Sewing Machine. As if by magic, the five became twenty four. I had to stop myself 😉

I’m longing for Springtime and the pink is reminding me of the thrift flowers that should, by now, be starting grow on the cliff tops where I live. There is no sign of even the plants let alone the flowers! It is so cold. The crows are usually nest-building in the garden this month and there is no sign of any such activity.

So the pink is to symbolise the Spring we don’t yet have. Hurry up Springtime! We are putting the clocks forward this weekend, British Summer Time 😉

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Now, I’m taking you all back to Winter with a woolly hat I’ve just finished for Mum. It is supposed to have a pom-pom but she doesn’t like them so it shall remain pom-pom-less. I made it in a couple of evenings and it is very thick and snuggly. It isn’t meant to be a dressy hat, just one that she can pull on when she needs to pop to the shops. I hope she likes it 🙂

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That’s it for today!

I’m linking with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Have fun!

Avis x

Strawberries and cream!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Did my title conjure up thoughts of summertime? Sorry to disappoint 😉 I am supposed to be away on a camping holiday but the UK is still in the grip of winter so we’ve cancelled. What a shame! I’ll just have to stay indoors and do patchwork. The strawberries and cream I’m talking about are the colours of my lovely fat quarters which you might recall here. They were a Mother’s Day surprise from my daughter. She chose well!

Three different prints and three fat quarters of red (I added one which I already had in my stash)    have been sewn together to make this quilt top. Does a lap quilt have to be square or rectangular? There I go breaking rules again 😆 I did actually have the pieces laid out to make a rectangular quilt and was measuring up to add the filler pieces down each side…..but I managed to stop myself and do something different. Actually, this would make a lovely table topper if you had a huge circular table….just a thought.

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Well, I’ve had a lot of fun doing all the maths and deciding what to make. This little number stitched together like a dream.

ImageI also used the 60 degree ruler that she bought me for Christmas so it is really made with her inspiration and pennies. Thank you Eleanor. I hope you like what I’ve done with them 🙂

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With the extra fat quarter print and another of red I made a table topper. I’m going to enjoy binding these different shapes.

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And then I had scraps! I can’t bear to have scraps 😉 so I made a pillow sham front….or is it another table topper? Who knows.

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They are all now in the box “To be quilted” and will probably work their way to the front of the queue sooner than they should. I think I might be changing my mind about my favourite colour…maybe it is red and not purple after all 🙂

I listened to BBC Radio 4 while I was sewing. I prefer spoken radio to music. Do you listen to radio when you are crafting?

The wool for Mum’s hats arrived yesterday so I have started to knit. Here is a progress update. I did this while watching TV last night. I’m knitting the hat in the photo at the bottom of the page but without the pom-pom. Mum doesn’t like pom-poms. I need 5 inches of rib and I’ve done 4 inches so far. This one will match Mum’s winter coat and the garnet red one, which will follow, will match her fleece jacket. It seemed wise to start with the camel one as winter is refusing to leave us at the moment.

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It feels so good to be on holiday after such a long stretch of work and family commitments. I’ve had two whole days to play and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every second. Hopefully you have had lots of crafting time too.

I’m off to catch up on reading my favourite blogs. I can’t wait to see what you have all been up to. Then tonight, I’ll be knitting some more.

I’m linking with Fabric Tuesday and Linky Tuesday  🙂 Thanks to my lovely friend Teje for reminding me!

Have a great week!

Avis x

Sixth finish of 2013!

Hi everyone, I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful weekend 🙂 A special warm welcome goes out to my new followers.

I’ve been sewing, hurray!! So I have a finished project to share with you all. A sneaky peek of this one was published earlier but the binding wasn’t done. I’ve now added the binding which is my favourite part of making any quilt. It is machined to the front and invisibly slip stitched to the back. This is a simple design to make up. The prints are from a charm pack and I teamed them up with two solid colours to tone down the Christmassy shades of the prints. Now it lifts my neutral colour scheme quite nicely in my conservatory and the greens bring a bit of the garden inside 🙂

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I’ve used a variegated quilting thread which is full of copper and gold shades to blend in nicely with the solids. I hope you can see the different colours in this close up photo.

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It’s quite a good size for a snuggle up on the sofa or as a bed topper. Here it is folded in half.

 

 

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and ready to use……

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I know you are all waiting to see what those luscious red fabrics from my last post turn into but I couldn’t possibly start a new quilting project before I finished this one……could I? What I do know is that they are going to make a very blocky modern style quilt, nothing complicated as I want to let the fabrics do the talking…….makes a change from me 😉

I went to Mum’s yesterday to take her for a wander around her new neighbourhood. It was freezing!!!! and there was quite a chilly breeze too. I noticed she was wearing a really old knitted hat that had seen better days and her ears weren’t quite tucked in enough. Guess what I’m going to knit 😀 I think I’ll probably be doing something with aran wool and cables, not too bright. It’ll be a simple bobble hat without the pom-pom as she wouldn’t appreciate a pom-pom 😆 I’ll knit a thick stretchy rib to keep each ear as snug as a bug in a rug.

I must go and order the wool!

I’ve also been tidying up the old blog a bit. I now have three separate pages, one for each year of crafting. They can be accessed via the tabs at the top of this page entitled Finished 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend 😀

Avis x

I’m not a cat lover….honest!

Hello everybody!

We are very close to the end of 2012 now and I won’t be making any New Year resolutions. However, in 2012 I rediscovered my love of knitting and crochet which I had put to one side for many, many years. The ripple blanket which I started to crochet and the scarf I knit for my sister’s birthday have helped to rekindle my enthusiasm for the crafts I had put into hibernation in favour of quilting.

So, when I saw these, I just had to make them! I have no idea why, they just purred “Make me”.

Meet Yin and Yang 🙂 The pattern is available here.

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I have no idea why I wanted to make one of these let alone two of them! I don’t really like cats and they definitely don’t like me 😦 These two are being rehomed very soon as I have no desire to have cats in my house but they were so much fun to make. Like I said, the intention was to only make one.

I am sure you can see why they are called Yin and Yang 😀

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My other half cannot believe I have made cats and heaved a huge sigh of disbelief with a shaking of his head when I announced they had names he-he 😆 Isn’t it great when making things gives us so much pleasure and the only cost is a little time while watching telly?

I’ve really enjoyed reading all of your lovely blogs this year. My blog was one year old on Friday and I’m surprised that I’ve posted over one hundred times. The blogging community has been  so positive with their comments and support and I am so glad that my daughter persuaded me to start writing this blog (it did take her quite a while). It was only really meant to be a record of my craft projects as I made them  but it has turned into so much more!

To all of my friends around the world……Happy New Year 😀 I hope 2013 is wonderful for you and all of your families and that you will continue to visit my blog often. I will certainly be reaching out for even more inspiration by reading all of your fabulous blogs.

I’m off to quilt now!

Avis x

Rain, rain, go away! and four little lovelies!

Hi everyone! Happy weekend to you all 🙂

Hopefully, if you are celebrating Christmas next week, you will soon be able to put your feet up after completing all of the very necessary preparations 😉

I’ve had such a busy week that I haven’t been able to think about Christmas as my Mum has had a bit of a flood in her house. We managed to contain it to a tile floored area of the house but there were a couple of inches deep of water which needed constant mopping to fight the latest weather here in the UK. We kept repeating to each other that we were fortunate not to have worse flooding as many homes in the UK have been evacuated for the fourth time since September. Mum is in her 80’s so she has found it all a bit too much to cope with. I don’t remember rain like this in my lifetime. The water table is so high that even a shower is flooding major routes. Today, the rain has been lighter and the wind has changed direction and strength, so we have had time to get outside and put temporary defences in place ready for the next time. We have more heavy rain due over the next few days so fingers are crossed that it stays on the correct side of the doors this time!

I did, however, get time to make the label for an I-Spy quilt for my Great Niece. I made a red one and a blue one last year as we didn’t know whether her Mummy was having a baby girl or a boy. Well, Dani will soon be one year old and she will finally be getting her I-Spy quilt from Santa very soon 😉 I hope she likes it! There are lots of animals and brightly coloured patterns so she can play I-Spy with her parents when she is a little older.

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I love the rainbow thread wiggly quilting which shows up so well on the reverse. I think Dani might want to follow the line with her finger 🙂

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The only part I did this week was the label.

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And here is the first of my four little lovelies today,  Dani…..having just found her treat in my sister’s handmade Advent calendar 🙂

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Three more little lovelies delivered by the postie this week are hanging on my Christmas tree. Do you recognise them?

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Well, these two were made and sent to me by Claire in France. You can find many more that she made here with instructions on how to make them.  Her blog is well worth a visit. Claire posts about cross-stitch and many other sewing projects including patchwork and quilting, as well as sharing tales about her cats and dog. There’s something for everyone. Go and see for yourselves.

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Do you see the little red berries in the photo above? Two of them have been nibbled by a mouse in my garage where we store the decorations. There was also a pile of sunflower seed husks just outside the box. Looks like little mousie has been collecting from the bird table too!

Last but not least, my final little lovely 🙂

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This snowflake pinwheel blew all the way from Crete 😀 It is the creation of  Teje who writes a great blog about her sewing projects, knitting and crochet. She is often joined by her assistants, two dogs and a cat. You can find the pinwheels here. The rest of Teje’s blog is full of lovely ideas with beautiful sunny photographs. So if you would like to warm up this winter, pop over for a browse.

As soon as we have a day with some reasonable daylight, I will photograph and post about my latest finished project. Hopefully there will also be some time to sew this weekend.

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my previous scarf post, where you saw my knitting for the first time. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas around the world. Also, I wish for you and your families, a very happy, healthy new year 😀

Best wishes,

Avis x

 

 

Another secret revealed!

Hi everybody 🙂

Happy birthday to my sister!!

At last I can reveal my sparkly scarf project which I made for my sister’s birthday. A few weeks ago we took my Mum to Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show and my sister admired the sparkly scarves on display at one of the stands. She would have bought one but we quickly realised they were selling the yarn to make them and not the finished articles. Everyone is so busy at this time of year. She knew there would be no time to knit for herself so we walked away.

Then, I had an opportunity 😉 I rushed back to the stall while my Mum and sister were “lost in the crowds” and bought the yarn. To be honest, I didn’t relish the thought of knitting with it as the texture is quite lumpy bumpy. However, it is a lot softer than it looks and it knit up really fast on large needles. I am really pleased with the result.

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It would have looked better modelled on a black outfit…..but I don’t have one ha-ha!

I hope you are all well and still have a little time to craft before the holiday. Lots of you must be holding back secret projects until after Christmas. Looks like it is going to be a very revealing New Year 😀 I can’t wait to see what you have all been up to!!

Avis x

 

Help! Decisions, decisions….

Happy Thursday everyone!

No photographs today folks…..just a plea for help.

I know the Autumn is only just beginning but I’m already feeling the cold this year. I’ve decided to buy my first pair of wellies and to knit some socks to wear with them.

Well, I’ve looked at lots of web sites but I’m already baffled by all the various yarns. There are so many different wools like merino, alpaca, cashmere, wool etc. and then I need to buy the correct ply. After all of the web browsing, the only things I am certain about is that I want to make multicoloured knee length socks that will wash well in the machine and stay up to my knees inside my wellies. Oh and another thing, the pattern…….this is soooo difficult!

I wonder if anyone out there has knitted socks before and can offer advice about yarn and patterns. I am an experienced knitter so I don’t mind complicated patterns and would prefer to have proper heels and toes rather than tube-type socks. Feel free to put a link to your posts in your comments (if you have blogged about your socks before).

I need to satisfy my knitting fix very soon and would be most grateful for your suggestions. I will, of course, post about my decisions and progress as soon as I can 😀

Thank you 🙂

Avis x

Come on! Get that quilt finished!!

Hi everyone 🙂

I don’t know about all of you but……my sister who is an amazing crafter is procrastinating!

A couple of years ago, she bought a variety of gorgeous shades of blue fabrics and started to make a Trip Around the World Quilt. She claims to have the four quarters of the top ready to sew together and then the top will be finished. I’m still waiting to see the results. However, in the meantime she has started to make a dress, knitted a beautiful cardigan/jacket and a blanket for her new Granddaughter and also a batik patchwork bag from a kit. The word kit is used very loosely here as the pattern needed to be reworked, there was insufficient fabric in the bag and there was no wadding, tape for the handles or buttons included! OUCH!!

Anyway, her latest excuse is that she is preparing for Christmas. There’s an advent calendar and some Christmas stockings to sew. Next it will be Christmas decorations and table runners……

And look what her granddaughter is getting for Christmas 🙂 A lovely knitted dolly. Anyone who has ever made knitted toys will know how much work goes into them…..and the stitching up Ugh!!

 

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This doll is about 16 inches tall and she is lovely. Suggestions for names would be most welcome 😀

Come on Siss, get that quilt top finished. You are almost there 🙂

How many UFO’s do you all have? I have one, the sampler I’m busy with he-he 😀

Happy weekend!

Avis x

 

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